Dismissals can be a messy and unfortunate affair. Sometimes it is unfair, sometimes it is not. There are many reasons as to why somebody is supposed to be dismissed from their workplace, but whatever the cause, it can all be handled elegantly. That’s why you should consider mediation to get things running smoothly, and having all parties leave the room satisfied.

What is mediation

Mediation is an alternative way to settle a dispute. Instead of initiating a court procedure, a mediator can be hired to settle the matter. In this manner, the parties involved avoid a court litigation and instead find a much more copacetic and relaxed way to settle any disputes they have. This is settled by an objective and impartial third party, i.e. the Mediator.

There are numerous reasons why it’s better than a standard court procedure, especially when things like a (potentially) unfair dismissal is concerned. First of all, the costs are lower when compared to a regular court case. Less money is spent on lawyers and on court fees, and the whole procedure will most of the time be resolved much more quickly.

The second and more important reason is that it actually gives the involved parties a chance to calmly talk about their issues. The environment will certainly be controlled and lead by the mediator, but it's still much more relaxed and less formal than a regular court session.

Also, there is a greater chance that the relationship between the parties will remain unharmed when a mediator is involved. This is more about conflict resolution, that it is about actually winning the case. It is excellent at solving thing that could be blown up into extreme proportion in court, but are actually just simple misunderstandings. In unfair dismissal situations it will help keep heads cool and minds open.

What constitutes an unfair dismissal

An unfair dismissal means that a person’s employment contract has been terminated due to inadmissible and unreasonable reasons. In other words, somebody was fired unfairly. But, it can also mean that the way in which a person was fired was handled incorrectly, against procedure, and, again, unfairly. In a regular court case, the employer will need to prove substantial evidence of a persons misconduct, lack of skill, disrespect, etc, to build a case. At the same time, the employee will need to find proof that what happened was unfair, and out of his control. Mediation streamlines this process, making it quicker and easier.

Of course, in some more serious cases, like harassment or violence, you really won't have any other choice other than hiring a professional small business lawyer.

Reasons for dismissal

There are several right reasons why somebody should be dismissed from their workstation. One of them might simply be the capability of the employee. Did he or she lie about his or her skill set and qualifications? Is this person incapable of actually doing the work they are being paid for. Then, you have conduct, which focuses on the person harassing other employees, being abusive, racist, or simply shirking his or her responsibilities.

A clear one is breaking the law. This can be based on the employee ruining the company’s reputation, or simply committing a very serious offense. Finally, justified redundancy. An employer needs to have a very clear redundancy policy, that everyone is aware of. If the employer acts in line with this policy, then there is nothing to be done.

If any of these are the case, then the dismissal will most certainly be justified, and then a mediator, or even a lawyer (if needed) should be hired.


An unfair dismissal doesn’t necessarily constitute the end of the world and your relationship with the opposing party. With a help of a good mediator, you will increase your chances of getting a cost-effective and simple solution to your problem.

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